Here at rhw we often hear horror stories from clients about the dreaded ‘in-laws’ and the impact that they have had in their marriage. Interestingly, the national parenting phone help line has estimated that around 20% of their calls involve problems with in-laws because “either parent feels that in-laws are behaving negatively, helping too much or not enough, or it’s grandma worried about the way her grandchildren are being brought up.”

When making the decision to get married, the focus tends to be about how much two people love one another rather than any practical points. Usually, the attention falls into the wedding dress like no other; the venue that allows for all your guests but still has the scenic views that you have always dreamed of; and selecting the maid of honour/best man/bridesmaids/groomsmen.

It is often easy to overlook other aspects of married life while planning for your big day and to be caught up with the excitement of the wedding day. We have set out some practical things to consider about married life:

  1. Discuss your views on faith/religion.
  2. Whether you want children.
  3. Whether the children will be raised in a specific faith/religion.
  4. The role of grandparents in the children’s lives.

Can I stop the children’s grandparents from seeing my children?

 Grandparents do not have legal rights to see grandchildren in England & Wales nor do they automatically have Parental Responsibility (even if the Grandmother is the Queen), however this does not mean that they have no alternative option.

If there is conflict between the parents and grandparents which results in the parents deciding not to agree to their children spending time with the grandparents; the latter can apply to the Family Court for permission to make an application to spend time with their grandparents. It is very rare that the Family Court would refuse the grandparents access to their grandchildren unless there is evidence of domestic abuse or the grandchildren are being exposed to harm if they were to spend time with the grandparents.

What will the Court consider?

  • The reasons the application has been made by the grandparents.
  • The relationship between the grandparents and the children.
  • The impact of the children not spending time with the grandparents.
  • Weighing up whether it is the children’s interests to have a meaningful and on-going relationship with their grandparents.
  • The impact on other family members if the children were to spend time with the grandparents.

Parents will have the right to oppose an application and put forward evidence in support of opposing contact between the children and grandparents.

We can help if you need legal advice  

If you require further support or guidance, do not hesitate to contact the Family Team at rhw Solicitors on 01483 302 000 or email family@rhw.co.uk